The budget coffee shop chain backed by easyJet tycoon Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou is eyeing expansion in London and beyond after receiving approaches from about 200 potential franchisees interested in opening sites.
Sir Stelios, the entrepreneur who made his name with the budget airline he founded 21 years ago, started easyCoffee earlier this year and the business has since expanded to two sites in London and one in Southend-on-Sea. It aims to undercut giants such as Starbucks and Costa by selling cups of coffee for £1.
The chain is a partnership between the Sir Stelios easyGroup and businessman Nathan Lowry, who has licenced the “easy” brand from the tycoon.
Mr Lowry said easyCoffee had so far received approximately 200 expressions of interest about franchises and was aiming to open a dozen more owned sites in the next six months, including in Croydon, Wembley and High Wycombe.
“The gap in the market is in terms of pricing,” Mr Lowry said. “The coffee’s great. We use the same machines that all the big guys use, all our staff are highly trained up to barista level.”
He said the ambition was to expand the chain across “regular high street locations”, adding: “We genuinely feel that people are paying too much for their coffee in the UK.”
The coffee chain is one of a number of businesses that Sir Stelios has pursued since stepping down from the board of easyJet, although none of his subsequent ventures have been as successful as the budget airline, which has grown to become a FTSE 100 company.
The entrepreneur now has a host of business interests, ranging from hotels and gyms to pizza delivery, and earlier this year trialled a budget grocery shop.